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Laser Diode Housing from Hardware Store Parts

Laser Diode Housing, MacGyver'ed

Laser Diode Housing, MacGyver'ed. The focus is not THAT horrible, the camera picked up too much splatter.

I never seem to be able to finish my laser engraver/cutter from broken DVD-RW drives project (inspired by Groover’s pocket laser engraver) because I keep opening new DVD drives and keep finding reasons to go on tangent mini-projects. Most of those mini-projects are brought about by my admiration of the amount of useful parts a DVDs has (even a broken one, apparently) and some are caused by specific challenges each new opened drive brings. So, at some point I opened an HP SDVD8821H DVD R/RW/RAM Drive and found this laser diode inside:

Laser diode on a chip with PD arrays (front)

Laser diode on a chip with PD arrays (front)

Laser diode on a chip with PD arrays (back)

Laser diode on a chip with PD arrays (back)

It’s a weird looking laser diode (LD) that is mounted in the same case with the photodiode arrays which makes for simplified optics but I did not have any housing for this shape/size diode. By the way, if anyone reading this knows a professionally made housing for this type of LD, please post a comment with the reference, I would greatly appreciate that. The diode is just slightly smaller than your more standard 9mm LD – it’s smaller diameter is 6.50mm and the larger diameter is 8.25mm so it fits neither 5.6mm nor 9mm standard size housings.
This made me think that I may not be the only one stuck without a proper housing for a laser diode and I decided to see what it would take to build a housing for a laser diode out of parts available only in the disassembled drive itself and in a local hardware store. Here is what came out
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